PUBLIC is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpolitical,
citizen action group founded in 1990.
mission has been to improve the environment of Calcutta and promote
sustainable urban living by working with government agencies, media,
students, corporate citizens, other NGOs and stakeholders in an
advocacy, consultative and implementation capacity.
Our focus areas are land use planning, including
protection of wetlands and open spaces and green cover, air and noise pollution and
conservation of heritage buildings.
Our methods are advocacy, media communication, public
interest litigation and direct action.
Over the two decades-plus of its existence, PUBLIC has become
an important voice on environmental issues in Calcutta. The recently
established (in December 2006) East Kolkata Wetlands Management &
Conservation Authority, headed by the Chief Secretary, has included
PUBLIC as one of three NGOs and as a member of the Standing
Committee on Biodiversity.
Other achievements are: legal protection of the east
Calcutta wetlands and water bodies, restrictions on noise pollution
in the city, protection of heritage buildings including removal of
hoardings from heritage areas, and increased citizen action on city
issues, particularly by school nature clubs supported by us. Many
still remember the March for Power and the March for Clean Air
Our membership is small but our commitment to action
is high. We believe strongly in working as a team that is flexible,
cohesive and effective. We draw strength from a large number of
associates and supporters, including other NGOs with whom we
For inspiration we rely on Margaret Mead:
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world; indeed...it's the only thing that ever does."